canning and preserving Archive

End of Summer Preserves: A Roundup of Canning Favorites and a Recipe for Quick Pickled Grapes!

As much as I hate to admit it, the end of summer is rapidly approaching. For some, it may already feel like summer is over. School is back in session, the days are getting shorter, and the nights are cool and crisp.

I can’t say I’m ready for summer to be over. I want to savor it for just a little bit longer.  Thankfully, that’s the beauty of canning. I can literally bottle up the bounty of summer and store it in a jar, and enjoy the spoils of summer throughout the year.

That being said, I thought I would share some of my favorite summer canning recipes with you all. Fall is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to put up your favorite summer fruits and vegetables. I’ve included a number of links to my own recipes, as well as a collection of recipes from friends and bloggers. Be sure to scroll all the way down, as I’ve also included a recipe for Quick Pickled Grapes from my friend Mary!  (Bonus: if you’re in the Portland area, there’s also a PDX Food Swap on September 21st. You can trade your canned goods for other amazing homemade creations!)

Spicy Tomato Jam | Rosmarried

Spicy Tomato Jam from Rosemarried

 A few of my personal favorite canning + preserving recipes: 

Blueberry Lavender Jam with Vanilla Bean

Raspberry Jalapeno Jam

Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce

Bourbon Pickled Peaches

24 Hour (Refrigerator) Dill Pickles

Spicy Tomato Jam

Slow Cooker Blueberry Plum Butter

Marionberry Jam from PDX Food Love

Marionberry Jam from PDX Food Love

 

A few delightful canning recipes from friends and other bloggers:  

Refrigerator Pickled Okra from Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking

Marionberry Jam from PDX Food Love

Summer’s End Stonefruits (This post contains a whole bunch of amazing recipes for preserving stone fruits from the lovely Kate Payne!)

Peach Sriracha Butter from Cake Walk

Salted Cantaloupe Jam from Back to Her Roots

Tomato Rhubarb Ketchup from Savory Simple

Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables from Use Real Butter

Honey Sweetened Apricot Thyme Jam from Marisa of Food in Jars (for Simple Bites)

 And last, but certainly not least, we have a guest recipe from Mary Crowe of MaryEats.com. This recipe is quick, easy, and totally delicious. And, it’s a great way to make your grapes last longer! Go forth and pickle some grapes today!

quick pickled grapes | rosemarried.com

Quick Pickled Grapes from MaryEats.com

Quick Pickled Grapes

Serving Size: Yields 6 half pints

A note about pickling spice: I love World Spice Merchant’s pickling blend. If you don’t have a blend, make your own with black pepper, a cinnamon stick, mace, yellow mustard seed, bay leaves, a dried small chile, allspice berries, a clove or two.

Recipe by Mary Crowe of MaryEats.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 5 cups of grapes, washed and stemmed

Instructions

  1. Wash all jars and lids in hot soapy water then rinse. Place clean jars on a cooling rack set inside a baking sheet. Evenly distribute the grapes between the jars, you want to leave 1-inch of head room.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let brine steep for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into a large glass measuring cup and discard the spices.
  3. Evenly distribute the liquid among the jars leaving a bit of room at the top. Cap jars and store in the fridge.
  4. Wait at least 24 hours before eating the grapes.
  5. If you aren’t making to share with friends, you can use a large container instead of individual jars. Place all the grapes in one large container and pour liquid over before storing in the fridge.

http://rosemarried.com/2014/09/09/end-summer-canning-roundup/

 

 

 

Blueberry Lavender Jam with Vanilla Bean

Sadly, this has not been a summer of canning. Rather, this has been a summer of work, writing a cookbook, throwing a pop-up beer garden for the World Cup, and getting ready for a tiny human. I’ve been distracted, to say the least.

In the midst of the craziness, I’ve found pockets of spare time to can and preserve a few precious jars of goodies. I inherited a rather large stash of blueberries recently, and made a number of different dishes (including these blueberry and corn crostini). I set aside most of the blueberries, however, with the intention of making jam as I absolutely adore blueberry jam. In fact, blueberry jam might be my second favorite jam of all time. (It should go without saying that my Grandmother’s strawberry freezer jam is the best jam of all time.) Blueberry jam is just so dark, sweet, and wonderful. It is especially delicious when slathered on biscuits, toast, scones, or any other bready item.

For this particular batch of blueberry jam, I wanted to mix things up a bit. So, I decided to add lavender and vanilla bean. Because, why not? It sounded good. As it turns out, the combination of blueberries, lavender, and vanilla bean really is quite good. If you happen to have a few extra blueberries lying around, I highly encourage you to make a batch of this blueberry lavender jam. You won’t regret it.

 

Blueberry Lavender Jam with Vanilla Bean

Ingredients

  • 8 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
  • 4.5 cups sugar
  • Zest & juice of one lemon
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 3 tablespoons Ball RealFruit Pectin
  • ½ teaspoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Wash and sterilize jars and lids. In a large canning pot, cover jars with water and bring to a boil. Boil for at least 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow jars to rest in the hot water until needed. Additionally, places the bands and lids in a small pot and boil for a 5 minutes.
  2. Place lavender in a small bowl or cup, and pour ½ cup of boiling water over the dried lavender. Allow to steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain out the dried lavender and reserve the remaining liquid for the jam.
  3. Using a blender, immersion blender, food processor, or potato masher – mash or crush the blueberries.
  4. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of sugar with the pectin.
  5. In large stock pot or pan, combine the crushed blueberries, lemon zest and juice, vanilla bean seeds, and lavender liquid. Stir in the sugar-pectin mixture and the butter. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Once the mixture is boiling, add the remaining sugar (4.25 cups). Return to a full rolling boil, and boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove jam from heat and skim off any foam.
  7. Remove jars from the hot water, and ladle jam into hot jars. Leave a ¼” head space. Wipe the jar rims clean, and place lids and bands on the jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

http://rosemarried.com/2014/08/19/blueberry-lavender-jam-vanilla-bean/

 

 

 

Cranberry Sauce with Juniper and Orange

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m a total traditionalist. I don’t stray far from the classics, and I stick with what I know and love. My Thanksgiving table usually includes the following items: a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, stuffing, Brussels sprouts and/or green beans, cranberry sauce, my Grandma’s rolls, and a green salad. I wasn’t lying when I said I’m a traditionalist. This is a very typical Thanksgiving spread.

Granted, that doesn’t mean that I do the things the same way every year. On the contrary, I’m always looking to improve and update the Thanksgiving classics. While I insist that there must be cranberry sauce on the table every Thanksgiving, I don’t want the same old cranberry sauce every single year. So, I try to switch things up a bit every year.

This year, I decided to can my own cranberry sauce. I adore cranberry sauce and am often frustrated by the fact that you can only find it in stores during the holidays. If given the option, I would probably eat a turkey cranberry sandwich for lunch every day of the year. I also love cranberry sauce when it’s baked with brie cheese and wrapped in puff pastry. I love cranberry hand pies. You get the idea…

So, I decided to make a big batch of cranberry sauce to last me through the winter. I tried out a few different cranberry sauces this year and I eventually settled on this recipe. It’s lovely. The Juniper berries give the sauce a really interesting hint of fresh, green pine. The orange juice adds balance and brightness. And, the honey and brown sugar combine to round out the sauce and give it just the right amount of sweetness. (Note: This cranberry sauce is quite tart, but you could easily up the sugar levels depending on your taste and preference.)

Whatever your holiday traditions may be, I’d encourage you to include this cranberry sauce on your Thanksgiving table this year. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Lastly, tune in this Sunday, November 24th, to KPAM 860 for Missy Maki’s Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving Show! I’ll be on air – along with a group of fantastic food bloggers – and we’ll be talking about our Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving recipes. It’s going to be a blast, so be sure to listen in!

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Juniper | Rosemarried

Cranberry Sauce with Juniper and Orange

Serving Size: 6 pints

Ingredients

  • 12 cups fresh organic cranberries
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons dried juniper berries
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • The zest of 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Wash and sterilize jars and lids and prepare a hot water bath for canning.
  2. With a mortar and pestle, crush and grind the dried Juniper berries.
  3. In a large pot, cook 10 cups of cranberries (reserve 2 cups for later), orange juice, wine, rosemary, and orange zest. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Add in most of the honey and brown sugar, and stir. Taste the sauce and add the rest of the honey and sugar, if needed. (I found that even with the honey and brown sugar, the sauce is still quite tart.) Add additional juniper, rosemary, or orange juice if necessary.
  5. Simmer until sauce thickens and reaches desired consistency, stirring occasionally. (15+ minutes)
  6. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, add the remaining 2 cups of cranberries. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Fill hot, sterilized jars with the cranberry sauce, leaving 1/4″ of head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe down the rims of the jars, and place lids and rings on each jar. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Notes

Adapted from Local Kitchen Blog

http://rosemarried.com/2013/11/18/cranberry-sauce-juniper-orange/

Chipotle Fig Jam

I’ve been a canning fiend for the past couple of weeks.

Blame it on the changing of seasons, but I feel a strong urge to pickle and preserve all of the summer fruits and veggies that I possibly can. Most of the things I’ve canned and pickled recently are your typical summer canning fare: canned peaches, refrigerator dill pickles, plain tomato sauce. These are the jars that will get me through the winter months. They are my pantry staples.

However, it is my firm belief that among the staples there’s got to be a few surprises! Hence, why I made this jam: it’s unexpected. It’s spicy, rich, sweet, and smoky.

This jam is phenomenal on biscuits or breakfast sandwiches. (Note: my favorite breakfast sandwich combo of all time is made with prosciutto, caramelized onions, fried egg, Beecher’s white cheddar, dijon, and fig jam. Try it. I promise, it’s awesome.) This jam is also great with plain Greek yogurt or slathered on baguette with goat cheese.

It’s just one of those jams, it’s good with (most) everything.

Chipotle Fig Jam

Serving Size: 4 half pints

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (Black Mission or Brown Turkish) figs, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 or 2 chipotles in adobo, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Place chopped figs and sugar in a large, non-reactive pot. Stir, and allow the figs to macerate for 30-60 minutes.
  2. After the figs have macerated for 30+ minutes, stir in water, chipotles, and lemon juice, and bring the mixture to a boil over med-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for at least an hour. Stir occasionally. (Note: use a potato masher to further break down the figs. Mash until desired consistency is achieved.)
  3. Meanwhile, sterilize jars and prepare a hot water bath.
  4. After an hour, check the jam’s consistency. If the mixture is thick and jammy, it is ready. Ladle the jam into clean, hot jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Homemade Trade

http://rosemarried.com/2013/08/30/chipotle-fig-jam/

Slow Cooker Blueberry Plum Butter

Canning in the summertime presents a funny conundrum.

On the one hand, this is the best time of year to preserve fruits and vegetables. We are in the peak of summer and farms and gardens are bursting with an amazing array of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The fields are plentiful. My fridge and pantry are full of the goodness of summer. This is a wonderful time of year.

On the other hand, there is the issue of warm weather and the unbearable temperature of my kitchen. My kitchen is, by far, the hottest room in my house. So let me tell you,
the idea of firing up the ole canning pot on a hot August afternoon sounds ludicrous to me.
When it’s sweltering outside, I would rather not hang out with boiling pots of water and jam.

Thankfully, there is good news. There’s always the option of the slow cooker. Granted, you cannot actually can or preserve using a slow cooker. You must process jars in boiling water, which requires a large pot and a stovetop. There’s just no getting around it. However, you can make your jam or preserves in a slow cooker, which drastically cuts down the amount of stove time. This, in turn, drastically reduces the sweltering temperatures in my kitchen. And, for that, I’m thankful.

This recipe is incredibly simple and yet, it is so rewarding. The blueberry butter is smooth, luscious, and full of the flavors of summer. And through the simple act of canning, I can enjoy these summery flavors all year long.

Slow Cooker Blueberry Plum Butter

Ingredients

  • 10 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 large black plums
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • Zest and juice of one lemon

Instructions

  1. Wash and drain blueberries. Remove any stems, leaves, or debris. Cut the plums in quarters and remove the pits.
  2. Using a food processor, puree the blueberries and plums. Process until smooth. (You should end up with 8 cups or so of puree.)
  3. In a slow cooker, cook the fruit puree on high heat for one hour. After one hour, stir the butter and crack the lid for the remainder of the cooking time. (This allows steam & water to escape so the butter reduces and thickens!).
  4. Cook the butter on low heat for 6 (or more) hours. (Note: slow cookers do vary depending on size, brand, etc.) Stir the butter once an hour.
  5. In the final hour of cooking, add the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir well. Turn the heat up to high and continue to cook with the lid slightly ajar.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare your canning jars and lids. Sterilize jars and lids by boiling in hot water for 10 (or more) minutes. Keep the jars in hot water until ready to use.
  7. Once the butter is thick and creamy (similar in thickness and texture to ketchup), it is ready for canning! (Note: I pureed my butter with an immersion blender at this point in the process, because I wanted it to be super smooth. I highly recommend it!)
  8. Remove jars from the canning pot and fill with butter. Wipe the rims with a clean, dry cloth. Seal jars with lids and rings and place back in the canning pot. Bring the water back to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove jars from the canning pot and place on a dry towel or rack to cool. After the jars have cooled, check to ensure that all jars sealed properly. If properly sealed, jars may be kept on the shelf or in your pantry for 6-12 months. (If they did not seal properly, the jars can be stored in the fridge and will keep for a week or two.)

Notes

Slightly adapted from Simple Bites

http://rosemarried.com/2013/08/19/slow-cooker-blueberry-plum-butter/

Pickled Blueberries

I’m a big fan of pickles in general. I love the taste (and crunch!) of a good pickle. A good pickle is salty, briny, and complex. Plus, pickles are a fantastic way to preserve summer crops.

But pickled fruit? This is entirely new territory for me. I’ve always limited my pickling to vegetable varieties: cucumbers, carrots, beets, jalapenos, onions, and more.

However, thanks to the PDX Food Swap, I’ve come to love pickled fruits. At the last few swaps I’ve come home with a number of jars of pickles fruits or berries – apples, figs, apricots, rhubarb, etc – and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with them all. Pickled fruit is a delightful mix of sweet and salty, bright and briny. It’s balanced and complex.

I’ve been eating these pickled blueberries straight out of the jar. (That’s how good they are.) But, if you’d like a few suggestions on how to use these little gems, I’d suggest trying them with crackers and goat cheese. Or, toss them on a wedge salad. Let me tell you, the blue cheese dressing and the briny blueberries are a match made in food heaven.

Pickled Blueberries | Rosemarried.com

Pickled Blueberries

Serving Size: Fills 4 half-pint jars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup (or 1/4 cup honey)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 lb blueberries
  • 1/4 of a red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole dried allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Clean and sterilize your jars and lids. Set on a rack to dry while you prepare the pickling liquid.
  2. In a small pot, mix together the vinegars, agave, salt, and spices. Heat over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  3. Pack each jar with blueberries and red onion slices. Pour the warm vinegar mixture over the blueberries. Use a spoon to distribute the spices evenly into each jar.
  4. Cap each jar and allow the jars to cool to room temperature before moving them to the fridge. The blueberries should keep in the fridge for 30 days.

Notes

Adapted from Of Agates and Madelines

http://rosemarried.com/2013/06/23/pickled-blueberries/

Foraged Nettle Pesto

I’ve been making a concerted effort to get out into nature more often. To unplug and leave the city; to get away from it all. It’s been awesome.

Last week, the husband and I ventured into the Columbia River Gorge to look for morel mushrooms. Let me tell you right now, this not nearly as cool as it sounds. We are complete amateurs and have no idea what we’re doing. We searched and searched for hours and didn’t find a single morel. However, our foraging efforts were not in vain, as we did find a whole bunch of stinging nettles.

If you’re wary about the idea of eating stinging nettles, I don’t blame you one bit. Nettles are designed to inflict pain and injury! If you’ve ever been stung by a nettle, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They hurt. And yet, here I am, telling you to go into the woods and pick the damn things and eat them. It sounds insane, I know.

nettles

But I’m telling you, give nettles a chance. These prickly little plants are remarkably good for you. According to the Examiner, nettles are “high in potassium, iron, sulphur, vitamin C, vitamin A and B complex vitamins nettles provide a high amount of dense nutrition with very little calories. The sulphur makes them great for the hair, skin, and nails.” All that to say, nettles are a superfood.

So, now that we’ve established that nettles are a superfood, we should discuss harvesting nettles. Here’s the thing about foraging for nettles: they are everywhere. They grow like weeds, literally. Nettles aren’t hard to find, but they are slightly complicated to pick & cook. Here’s my advice: wear gloves (when picking) and use tongs (when cooking). When picking nettles in the wild, be sure to wear gloves and store the nettles in a paper or plastic bag (nothing with holes or mesh!). The smaller the nettle, the more tender the leaves. I’ve read that nettles are best picked when they are knee height or below. (However, if the nettles are taller, you can just pluck the tops off.)

Stinging Nettle Pesto

Once you’ve picked a bag full of nettles, the sky’s the limit! (Just make sure you don’t attempt to eat nettles in their raw form: you must blanch nettles in boiling water before you can eat them.) Nettles have a flavor similar to spinach, and can be used in a variety of different ways. I’ve made nettle pesto, nettle spanikopita, nettle scrambles, and more.

As for a recipe? I’m going to keep it simple. Here’s what I did: I quickly blanched the nettles in boiling water for 2 minutes. (Note: use tongs to handle the raw nettles!) I then removed the nettles from the boiling water and gave them a quick rinse with cold water (to stop the cooking process). I let them drain in a strainer for a few minutes and then gave them a quick squeeze, to remove any extra moisture. Once drained, I threw them into a food processor with toasted almonds, olive oil, lime juice, 2 cloves of garlic, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. (Note: For some odd reason, I didn’t have any lemons. So I used a lime and it tasted great!).

I didn’t even bother tossing the pesto with pasta, I just slathered it on slices of crusty bread and ate it alongside some delicious cheeses and pickled veggies. It was perfect.